The Center for Health Communication defines, teaches, and shares best practices for communicating credible health information to an increasingly skeptical and fragmented world.

Who we are

We prepare public health leaders at Harvard Chan School and beyond to effectively communicate critical health information, influence policy debates, counter misinformation, and increase the public’s trust in health expertise.

Through the Center for Health Communication, students, faculty, and staff at Harvard Chan School can access training and mentorship on key health and science communications skills: strategic communication, storytelling, social media, content creation, media relations, op-ed writing and pitching, climate change communication, and more. Many of these topics are covered in articles, videos, and worksheets in the Center’s publicly available Resource Library. Students can also enroll in courses such as “Engaging with the Press” and “Practical Communication Strategies and Tactics for Influencing a Healthier World” taught by the Center’s faculty affiliates. 

Under Amanda Yarnell’s leadership, the Center for Health Communication has placed special emphasis on engaging with today’s media gatekeepers: social media content creators. The Center’s Creator Program welcomes creators who want to counter misinformation and spread evidence-based information about public health on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms. The program connects them with cutting-edge research, policy ideas, and critical new resources in public health communication research. And it fosters collaboration and learning between them and Harvard Chan School faculty and students. The Center also conducts innovative, creator community-engaged health communication research into the effectiveness of such public health x creator partnerships. 

2023-2024 Annual Impact Report

Explore our 2024 Impact Report

Learn about the impact of our 2024 initiatives: expanded coursework, communication skill-building, creator collaboratives, research, and more.
Read more


 The Creator Program marks a new era for the Center for Health Communication, building on its history as an early, influential leader in public health communication. Founded in 1985 by Jay Winsten, the center was the first health communication program at an academic institution. It offered a first-of-its-kind fellowship program for public health and medicine-focused journalists and leveraged television, advertising, and other mass communication channels to advance the public’s health. For example, its campaign about “designated drivers” is considered one of the first successful efforts to use news and entertainment media to drive healthy behavior.  

What we do

Our research

In an era where more and more of us are getting health news and information from social media, could creators help public health counter misinformation and disseminate evidence-based science?

The Center for Health Communication is conducting innovative, community-engaged research to answer this question. In collaboration with creators and others working in the creator economy, we are building the evidence-base for the effectiveness of public health x creator partnerships.


Peer reviewed

Motta, M., Liu, Y. & Yarnell, A. “Influencing the influencers:” a field experimental approach to promoting effective mental health communication on TikTok. Sci Rep 14, 5864 (2024).

Works in progress

Xu, M. M., Liu, Y., Yarnell, A., Motta, M., & Robbins R. Scientists & Social Media Influencers: Seeding New Approaches to Health Communication Through a Creators Summit on Mental Health. (OSF registration)


K. Speer and A. Yarnell. How Influencers Can Give Public Health the #StanleyQuencher Treatment. The Hill. 2024


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